Canada's main stock index gained almost one per cent Wednesday after dipping in the morning, with metals and industrials offsetting a slip in energy stocks. U.S. markets posted stronger gains after U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell signaled the pace of interest-rate hikes in that country will slow next month.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 175.85 points, or 0.87 per cent, at 20,453.26. 

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 737.24 points, or 2.18 per cent, at 34,589.77. The S&P 500 Index was up 122.48 points, or 3.09 per cent, at 4,080.11, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 484.22 points, or 4.41 per cent, at 11,486.00.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.03 cents U.S. compared with 73.65 cents U.S. on Tuesday.

The January crude contract was up US$2.35 at US$80.55 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was down 31 cents at US$6.93 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract was down US$3.80 at US$1,759.90 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 10 cents at US$3.73 a pound.